News Roundup for November 8, 2019

November 8, 2019

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Top News and Analysis

Gantz says he’s doubtful Likud wants unity, ‘examining alternatives’, Times of Israel
Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz on Friday said he was doubtful as to whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party was genuinely interested in forming a unity government, and said his party was looking at “alternatives” to such a coalition, without giving details Gantz, on the 16th of his 28-day race to attempt to form a government, attacked Likud’s insistence of negotiating only as a single bloc of 55 MKs that include ultra-Orthodox and national-religious parties. “I fear Likud does not truly wish to reach a unity agreement as is required by the election results,” he wrote on Facebook. “Anyone refusing to let go of the restrictive and obstructive bloc, who is not prepared to seriously discuss the basic principles of a future government — isn’t actually interested in forming a government.”

Netanyahu’s party could break Israel’s political deadlock by dumping him. Why won’t it?, Washington Post
Ruth Eglash writes, “Present and former Likudniks — as members are known in Hebrew — are beginning to express disillusionment with the direction he is taking the party and asking why he’s still there after a year of failures.”


Shin Bet thwarted over 450 terror attacks in 2019, chief says, Times of Israel
The head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security and counterintelligence service, said Thursday that his organization had thwarted over 450 significant terror attacks in the previous year.

Iran downs drone over southern port city of Mahshahr: IRNA, Reuters
“The downed drone definitely belonged to a foreign country. Its wreckage has been recovered and is being investigated,” the governor of Iran’s southern Khuzestan province, Gholamreza Shariati, said, according to IRNA.

EU expresses concern over Israel’s arrest of senior PA officials in Jerusalem, Times of Israel
The European Union expressed concern Thursday over Israel’s recent arrests of senior Palestinian Authority officials in Jerusalem.

Israel Arrests Family of Indian Migrant Workers, Including Israeli-born Children, Ahead of Deportation, Haaretz
A family of Indian nationals residing in Israel as migrant workers, including their Israeli-born children, were arrested by inspectors from Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority on Thursday morning ahead of their planned deportation.

Yair Netanyahu tells Boteach in NYC his father saves Jews ‘from annihilation’, Times of Israel
I’m always up for a night of theater. Wednesday night, not far from Lincoln Center, I sat in a Manhattan townhouse to hear a conversation between Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Yair Netanyahu, the vociferous son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Attorney General Condemns Nixing Film Screening on Lawyer Defending Palestinians, Haaretz
The attorney general said Friday that a northern Israeli city’s cancellation of a documentary about a lawyer who defends Palestinians accused of terrorism has no legal basis and violates freedom of expression.

Opinion and Analysis

Netanyahu’s Bet on Trump Is Starting to Look like a Costly Mistake in Israel, World Politics Review
Frida Ghitis writes, “For a while, the wager seemed to pay off. But now, as Netanyahu faces a fierce battle to stay in office, and with prosecutors also nipping at his heels, it’s all beginning to look like a costly mistake.”

Inside the Fight to Stop Israel Deporting Israeli-born Children, Haaretz
Dina Kraft writes, “Children’s rights are at center of a legal debate that will decide whether hundreds of children could face deportation to the Philippines — a country many of them have never even visited.”

‘I Have Stopped Wearing My Magen David’: 27 Jews On What It Feels Like To Be Afraid For Their Lives, The Forward
Forward staff write, “In a recent survey of American Jews by the American Jewish Committee, 1 in 4 respondents said that they ‘avoid certain places, events or situations out of fear’ for their ‘safety or comfort as a Jew.’ Nearly a third of the more than 1,200 respondents said they avoided ‘publicly wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify’ them as Jewish.”

Blunt, Flawed, Wise and Bold: I Don’t Glorify Rabin, but I Mourn Him Every Day, Haaretz
Aaron David Miller writes, “Rabin was famously, and brutally, blunt: he thought Americans like me were hopelessly naive about the Mideast. But his kind of honest leadership is missing in Israel today.”